This year’s festival line-up has an eclectic line-up of sounds by some amazingly talented women. When Rolling Stone India’s cover story in July last year listed eight of India’s top female DJs, they could have easily gone ahead and listed another ten, and no-one would have been surprised. This year, women have made their presence felt in the Indian EDM scene like never before. And Sunburn’s programming reflects this shift. Check out five DJs you should not miss you on.
Paper Queen aka Nea Gujreja is one of the newest entrants into India’s DJ scene but she’s already clocked an impressive number of gigs. She’s already DJed at all of Mumbai’s top venues including Bonobo, Blue Frog and Social. So it’s hardly surprising that she’s on the Sunburn bill. What separates her sound from most other DJs is how current her music is. Walk into a bass night in London or Berlin, and you’d most likely hear the same tunes. Paper Queen’s sets are a genre-bending mash-up of trap, dubstep, hip-hop and future bass. What’s more, she’s not just a laptop DJ - she’s at ease on turntables, CDJs and modern controllers, something that would put most of her male counterparts to shame. She’s also one to watch out for the future. Gujreja is also busy on the production front with her debut EP set for release in the first quarter of 2015. And she’s already pencilled in her international dates for the monsoon with gigs in Berlin and UK with The Urbanology Crew (Berlin) and DubCub (UK).
From Harley Davidson to Addias, Chandon to Axe, Sunburn to college festivals, South African DJ Candice Redding is one of the India’s favourite DJs. That’s the only way you can explain the incredible 153 shows that she performed at last year. She’s shared the billing with top EDM names like Steve Aoki, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, she’s headlined the debut edition of the Axe boat party, and she has an equally active techno alias, Knoxx, where she’s played alongside leading artists like Jewel Kid, Matisse & Sadko and 16 Bit Lolitas. In 2013, she was the official DJ for the Indian Premier League. Candice Redding is also a supremely savvy on social media. She isn’t just throwing out information on gigs but regularly sends video updates, shout-outs and apologises for missing out on gigs (for visa issues beyond her control) that have helped cement her status as India’s most people female DJ.
It might be chilly in Siberia but ask any dance floor in India and they’ll tell you that Julia ‘Bliss’ Belousova always brings the heat. Belousova has travelled the length and breadth of the country with shows in Kolhapur, Gujarat, Indore, Dehradun, Mysore, Chennai, besides major venues like Triology in Bombay, Blue Frog across India, as well as Sunburn arena gigs. Belousova is also a woman with many talents. She arrived her in 2008 as a model who had spent many years perfecting her skills as a dancer. She ended up working in the Bollywood industry peaking her career with a starring role in the Puja Bedi film Ghost in 2011. She also utilises her degree in management with her enterprise Bliss Bags that promotes frameless furniture. But today, she’s largely famous as an internationally recognised talent with an discerning ear for electronic dance music.
For the longest time, Kolkata-native Priyanjana Ghoshal was always looked at as a resident DJ, as if that was never enough, and constituted a career flaw. What most DJs and promoters don’t realise perhaps, is that Ghoshal’s many residencies - starting at Tantra and B.E.D Lounge in Kolkata to Poison (now Royalty) in Bandra to China House at the Grand Hyatt, both in Mumbai - have honed her skills as a DJ to be reckoned with. Today, Ghoshal’s heads-down hard work has been rewarded with signing on to Slick!, one of the country’s fastest growing electronic music agencies, and a slot at Sunburn, where you can hear first hand, that she has the skills to pay the bills.
An Iranian by birth, Canadian by citizenship and global citizen by habit, Tara Mobayen is not just a successful producer-DJ but also an visual arts developer and video game developer. In addition to that, she’s also balanced a career in modelling (she won the Miss Photogenic Canada in 2009 at the Miss Universe contest). It’s also how Mobayen ended up with a career in music as a freak headache diagnosed as a bleeding brain condition forced her to live in Paris for eight months, where she discovered her passion for DJing. Since then, she’s had a slew of international releases that have consistently charted on the Beatport Top Ten, performed for big-name brands like Armani and Playboy, as well as gigging in cities as like Monaco, Dubai, Paris and her hometown of Toronto.